Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: What Will It Be Like One Year from Today?

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

Last week at the Southwest Liturgical Conference in Salt Lake City, while giving a presentation on Mystagogical Catechesis and the Roman Missal implementation, I asked those in attendance to think about what we might be experiencing one year from now. I offered a few hyopthetical scenarios and I have expanded those here.

So, a year from now, we will be about nine weeks into the implementation of the new translation. Might we be saying things such as:

Things have gone so smoothly in my parish; I can't believe that we spent so much time and energy worrying about this; the people seem just fine. Sure, there are still those times when people catch themselves saying "And also with you," and they stumble here and there, especially when reciting the creed, but, all in all, this has been a piece of cake.


There are several people in our parish who are very upset by the changes. There are at least three people who have decided to leave the parish.


Despite all our efforts at catechesis over the past several months, there are a few angry parishioners who are refusing to say the new texts. When everyone else says "And with your spirit," they are very loudly saying "And also with you." The pastor and the parish staff are at their wit's end. We have tried to talk with these people, but they are quite obstinate. Not sure what to do next.


The musical settings we have chosen for the peoples' parts of the Mass have been received with much enthusiasm. On day one, we began to chant all of the dialogues at Mass; the liturgy just seems so much more prayerful; there is a new sense of simplicity and holiness.


While the transition has been fairly smooth for those in the pews, our pastor is really struggling with the new texts. I know that he has spent a lot of time preparing the orations and the eucharistic prayer, but it just seems that he is very frustrated as he tries to convey these texts in a meaningful way. My heart is breaking for him, especially considering the fact that he is pastoring three pastoral sites.


The new translation has really shaken people up. And this has ended up being a good thing for our parish. We have begun an adult education course on the liturgy and have more people attending than anything else we have ever offered in our parish. People are beginning to get an appreciation for what it is that we do at Sunday Mass; and an appreciation for what God is doing!


In hindsight, it has become apparent to us that this transition needed much more of our attention as a pastoral staff. We did little to prepare ourselves and our folks. Because of this, our people are confused and angry. If we had to do it all over again, we know now that we should have spent much more time preparing the parish for these changes.

Folks, I am not a seer in any sense of the term. No one can predict the future. I am sure that these few hypothetical comments must have you thinking. Why not add your own hypothetical scenario and share it with the other followers of Gotta Sing Gotta Pray? I am setting a calendar reminder for one year from today. At that time, let's revisit our hyopthetical scenarios and see if any of us were on target.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Ray MacDonald said...

I live in a small parish in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. I don't know what will happen in a year's time as the Canadian bishops have not yet announced an implementation date. Our parish has very limited volunteer music resources.
My own thoughts are that it won't be a big deal for the people in the pews since the majority of them follow along in missalettes where the responses are clearly printed. The major adjustments will be made by the clergy. Our Archbishop is on the Vox Clara committee so I'm sure he'll plan plenty of study sessions for them.
I suspect we'll have many homilies on this New Translation before it goes into effect.

Kevin Keil said...

Jerry, why is it that publishers are not allowed to sell copies of the Missal until October 1st?

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Hello Kevin,
This was the date given to us by the bishops.

Chironomo said...


All of those predictions may actually happen in one place or another. There are as many possible outcomes as there are different attitudes and situations surrounding implementation. That's why I have to always challenge commenters who insist that there will be some kind of "universal opposition" or widespread reaction of any kind. There isn't universal acceptance of the CURRENT translation, is there? There isn't even agreement on whether we should be using English at all. That's why there is a process for making decisions in the Church other than appeal to popular concensus... because that will never happen.

As for the implementation, those responsible for the actual behind the scenes work can pretty much determine how it will turn out. I'm conducting a session at our parish just this evening addressing the history of Sacred chant in the Church as a preliminary preparation for the greater use of chant in our parish in years to come. If I were to speak out strongly against the use of chant as "turning back the clock" or whatever, I could shape the outcome of how it is received in a very real way. Same goes for other aspects of this project.

Leaders need to lead....